The Sandwich Zoning Board of Adjustment is made up of five (5) voting members and several alternate members who have been chosen by the Selectboard of the town. All members must be residents of Sandwich. The Zoning Board acts as a quasi-judicial board and has powers granted under the Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs) to act on specific matters:
Variances – A variance may be granted for relief from the strict terms of the zoning ordinance to use property or place structures in a manner that would otherwise violate the ordinance. For a variance to be granted, you must show that your request meets ALL FIVE of the criteria specified in the application for a variance.
Special Exception - A special exception is an allowed use that must meet specified criteria.
You must have some form of determination that your proposed use is not permitted without a Special Exception. A copy of the determination shall be attached to your Application.
If, by granting a special exception as defined in paragraph 150-102 A, a violation of the Zoning Ordinance is created, an application for a variance from the appropriate section of the ordinance must be filed concurrently with the application for the special exception.
Appeals of Administrative Decisions – An Appeal from an Administrative Decision is a claim that an administrative officer has incorrectly interpreted the terms of the Zoning Ordinance. An administrative officer is any official or board who has responsibility for issuing permits or certificates under the ordinance or for enforcing the ordinance, and may include, but is not limited to, the Board of Selectmen and the Compliance Officer.
Appeals from Administrative Decisions must be filed with the Board within thirty (30) calendar days of the decision made by the administrative officer. A copy of the decision being appealed and all related documents must be attached.
Equitable Waivers – When a lot or other division of land, or structure on the property, is discovered to be in violation of a physical layout of dimensional requirement imposed by a zoning ordinance, RSA 674:33-a provides two alternatives to grant an equitable waiver from the zoning requirement.
Equitable waivers may be granted only from physical layout, mathematical or dimensional requirements and may not be granted from use restrictions.
If your appeal is denied by the Zoning Board you may appeal for a rehearing on the board’s decision. No form is supplied for an appeal for a rehearing. The Selectmen, or any aggrieved party affected, have similar rights to appeal the board’s decision. To appeal the decision, you must first ask the Zoning Board for a rehearing. The Motion for Rehearing may be in the form of a letter to the Board attached to the application. This motion must be made within thirty (30) calendar days from the day of the board’s decision, and must set forth fully and in detail all the grounds on which it is claimed the decision is unlawful or unreasonable. The Board may grant such a rehearing only if in its opinion, good reason is stated and substantiated in the motion. "Good Reason" is limited to a claim by the petitioner that a technical error has been made or if new evidence can be produced which was not available at the time of the first hearing. The Board will not re-open a case based on the same set of facts unless it is convinced that an injustice would be created by not doing so. When a rehearing is held, the same procedure as in the first hearing will be followed, including public notice and notice to abutters.
Following the Board's final decision after a Rehearing or if the Motion for Rehearing is denied, you have thirty (30) days in which to appeal to the Superior Court. However, no such Appeal may be taken unless you have first applied for a Rehearing to the Zoning Board. The only grounds for appeal the Court will hear are those set forth in your Motion for Rehearing.
The Zoning Board application and Rules of Procedure can be found online or at the Selectmen’s Office during regular business hours.
Zoning Board Application Fees can be found here.
Zoning Board of Adjustment
2023 Meeting Dates and Application Deadlines
Applications are heard on the second Thursday of the month. Meetings are scheduled as needed based on application submissions and Board business.
January 26, 2023 December 19, 2022
February 9, 2023 January 16, 2023
March 9, 2023 February 13, 2023
April 13, 2023 March 20, 2023
May 11, 2023 April 17, 2023
June 8, 2023 May 15, 2023
July 13, 2023 June 19, 2023
August 10, 2023 July 17, 2023
September 14, 2023 August 21, 2023
October 12, 2023 September 18, 2023
November 9, 2023 October 16, 2023
December 14, 2023 November 20, 2023
January 11, 2024 December 18, 2023